Lena put some oranges through the juicer on her day off yesterday so I had some lovely freshly squeezed OJ with my brekky this morning. It is lovely for her to do this since she herself doesn't drink OJ. In the store last weekend I saw there was a new Yoshi game for 3DS. I decided to get it for Lena and made a surprise gift of it this week. Not that I am down on Birthday or Chrissy presents, but I enjoy giving random “ah here is something that I think you might enjoy for no reason” type gifts. Lena tends to play the Yoshi games from the Nintendo catalog. I am more of a Mario and The Legend of Zelda type player.
On Tuesday I went to the monthly Perl Nerds meeting. It was a small crowd of just the four regulars and one other guys who is there to ask Brock for help. Brock is super patient and helpful. He's great. I have been threatening to invite the four regulars (plus partners) over for Enchilada night at our place. Hopefully we will be able to find a free weekend to do that soon.
A friend made a post that tangentially mentioned flags and it got me to thinking about the things. I don't usually wave flags because I feel they act as a substitute for ideas. The American flag for example is supposed to stand for America and American values. Yet people feel that it should be exempt from First Amendment protections which is a pretty important American value. On the other hand I like to photograph flags because they have pretty bold flags and they look striking especially when photographed on slide film. I took the above photograph of the flags around the Washington Monument the day of the March and even though it was a dark drizzly day there is something inspiring about seeing the stars and stripes. I also for sentimental reasons have a little American flag that I was given when I was naturalized as a citizen here. It sits on my desk near a little paper Australian flag, which I think I picked up at an ANZAC Day parade years ago. I guess I keep them for sentimental reasons. I wouldn't hoist a flag at the door to my home and I likely wouldn't wave a flag on the 4th of July, but I don't think ill of people who do.
BTW- (spoilers!) A great fictional example of the way flags get misused is in Star Trek original series episode The Omega Glory, in which the Communists are finally defeated by the Yankees in a parallel Earth. The Yankees have been living in a barbarian existence for so long that although they still have the constitution and the flag they do not understand what they mean anymore. The lesson you are supposed to learn from this episode is that Kirk and company can teach the savages to embrace their American roots of “Freedom” (referred to as a Yankee “worship word”) and presumably democracy. The lesson I learned from it is that people forget the meaning of the things they supposedly fight for.
On Friday I watched a clip of Trumpy meeting with Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull. (Naturally with US and Australian flags decorating the background). Trumpy made a dig at how terrible the ACA is and how it would all soon be fixed by the AHCA, and how in Australia they had better health care than America. This was pretty hilarious. Somebody probably should have briefed the president on the fact that Australia has universal health care, something that he as a Republican is supposed to be against. Actually I suspect that somebody probably tried, but you know. Policy isn't as interesting as trading personal insults on twitter.
It is a bit of a relief that Trumpy and Turnbull are getting along better now. I have always found US foreign policy troubling, along with Australia's tendency to go along with every US military intervention since World War I. However when Trumpy threw a hissy fit about the refugee deal Obama made with Turnbull it was deeply troubling to me since Australia and the US have always been such close allies.
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